||The Magic Tree: A Folktale from Nigeria
by T. Obinkaram Echewa, Earl B. Lewis (Illustrator)
of the Cinderella stories, this tale is about Mbi, an orphan boy who is
ostracized and abused by his whole village. Not only do the children
taunt and tease him and exclude him from their games, but he is
expected to work all day and is awakened from his sleep at night with
demands from villagers to "do this" and "do that". He is never rewarded
for his work and, always feeling the pangs of hunger, must eat only the
scraps left on villagers' plates. One day when he is very hungry, he
discovers a udara tree bearing the most delicious fruit out of season.
A seed from the udara grows into a gigantic tree, which not only bears
incredible fruit, but obeys Mbi's commands that result in changing his
fortune and gaining villagers' respect.
||I Love Saturdays y Domingos (Americas Award for Children's and Young Adult Literature. Commended (Awards))
by Alma Flor Ada, Elivia Savadier (Illustrator)
young girl delights in weekends, because on Saturdays she visits her
Grandma and Grandpa and on domingos, she visits her abuelita and
abuelito. Her experiences with her decidedly Caucasian grandparents is
completely in English; however, when she tells of being with her other
grandparents, the text is generously sprinkled with Spanish words whose
meanings can usually be gleaned contextually. In this delightful book
the little girl, who prefers smaller things, is adored by both sets of
grandparents who, in spite of their cultural differences, also enjoy
each others' company. The text and illustrations in this language rich,
intergenerational story presents warm, respectful family relationships.
||Cut from the Same Cloth
by Robert D. San Souci, Brian Pinkney (Illustrator)
upon his impeccable research and marvelous storytelling skill, San
Souci offers this literary masterpiece of myths and tall tales about
American women whose lives and deeds parallel those of Paul Bunyan,
Pecos Bill, and other male legendary heroes. The superwomen in this
superb collection are of highly diverse cultures, regions and powers.
They are miraculous survivors of major catastrophes, defyers of fire
and lightning, tricksters of their counterparts, giant slayers and
saviors of their peoples. This author and illustrator have given
powerful voice and presence to 20 legendary American women of African,
Native American, Mexican and European descent who have remained silent
and invisible for much too long.
by Nikki Grimes, Michael Bryant (Illustrator)
the wonder-filled eyes of a young African American girl named LaTasha,
the reader experiences the joyous sights and rousing, syncopated sounds
of a Sunday spent in her church. Grimes' simplistic poetry and Bryant's
lush paintings capture the warm exuberance of the child and other
congregates, as well as the strong sense of community and pride within
this beautiful edifice. People of any age can enjoy this nostalgic
"hymn" to the Paradise Baptist Church.
by Dee Parmer Woodtor, Dolores Johnson (Illustrator)
memories of Big Meeting, a summertime family celebration common to many
African Americans, will be enjoyed by adults and children. Although the
focus of this celebration is religious, held usually at Southern
Methodist or Baptist churches, the reunions of families, incredible
food, intergenerational encounters, country playtimes and explorations
with young cousins from many places are as nostalgic as the very long,
spirited services. Woodtor and Johnson truly revive the wondrous spirit
of Big Meeting.
by Bryan Collier
marvelous marriage of watercolor collage and simple text convey the
lusty sights, sounds, and moods of the one-time Black Mecca of the
nation. For present and former New Yorkers, favorite haunts, such as
the Apollo Theater, 125th Street's bustling shopping district, Rucker's
Park, arouse pride and nostalgia. Museums, the Harlem Boys' Choir, and
brownstones which seem to be "made of chocolate" trigger memories or
beckon visitors to this unique part of the "Big Apple". It is clear
that our young male tour guide unconditionally loves his Uptown world,
which is truly home. For this dazzling book, the author/illustrator won
the Coretta Scott King Award for Illustration in 2000.
||Linda Brown, You Are Not Alone
by Joyce Carol Thomas, Curtis James (Illustrator)
stunning collection of stories and poems by stellar, culturally diverse
personalities - such as this author, Eloise Greenfield, Jerry Spinelli,
Lois Lowry, and Ishmael Reed - who describe the sweeping effects of the
crucial Brown vs. The Board of Education decision. Author Quincy Troupe
reminds us that, although this monumental decision greatly increased
educational and professional employment opportunities for African
Americans, it inadvertently caused a decrease in Black entrepeneurship,
the rise of urban ghettoes and, ultimately, the segregation of
impoverished urban schools throughout the nation. This powerful book
also introduces to young folks the superb pastel illustrations of fine
artist, Curtis James.
||Just Like Josh Gibson
by Angela Johnson, Beth Peck (Illustrator)
addition to learning about the legendary Josh Gibson of the Negro
Baseball League, readers will meet and admire the author's Granny, who
excelled in baseball in the early forties, when Black girls were not
even allowed into the Negro or women's leagues. Mentored by her dad,
Granny became a great player, although she had only one opportunity to
play with and against men. The color illustrations exude motion,
strength and Granny's reverence for the game. Although her one day of
real glory came as the result of a male players' injury, the memories
of her brief stardom, achieved in a pink frilly dress and sneakers
borrowed from the injured player, lasted for a lifetime. A biographical
sketch of Josh Gibson is appended.
||A to Zen
by Ruth Wells
a wide spectrum - from A to Zen - of Japanese history and culture, this
book is designed to be read from back to front in keeping with oriental
structure. The pictures were painted with dyes on silk cloth, enhancing
the book's beauty and Japanese quality.
||Happy Birthday Mr. Kang
by Susan L. Roth (Illustrator)
ingenious collages contribute greatly to the telling of this lovely
intergenerational story. Mr. Kang has been a celebrated cook for 43
years at the Golden Dragon Restaurant. At age 70, after blowing out the
candles at his birthday party, Mr. Kang announces his retirement by
telling the guests that his 3 wishes are to read the New York Times and
"paint poems" every day and to own a hua mei (a Chinese bird) in a
cage, like the one his grandfather had. His grandson, Sam, is disturbed
by Mr Kang's wish to own a caged bird, since there are so many birds
flying free in the park. All of Mr. Kang's wishes come true, as we
share his moving poetry, warm relationships, and a splendid, touching,
||Where Are You Going? To See My Friend!
by Kazuo Iwamura, Eric Carle (Illustrator)
visual and linguistic treat is in store for children who experience
this lovely, lilting celebration of friendship and camaraderie. From
the front of this delightful book to its middle, Carle writes the text
in English and illustrates each page in his distinctive collage style.
From back to middle, Iwamura's saucy watercolors illustrate the same
text written in Japanese with pronunciation help for the reader. Then
in the middle of this uniquely designed book the 2 friendly bands of
animals and their 2 human friends merge in a spirited dance and rousing
song with both English and Japanese lyrics. What a marvelous
||The Spirit of Tio Fernando
by Janice Levy, Morella Fuenmayor (Illustrator), Teresa Mlawler (Translator)
Nandito and his mother prepare to celebrate the Day of the Dead - a
Mexican holiday on which they will honor his beloved, recently deceased
Uncle Tio. As the many parts of the celebration unfold, Tio - who
closely resembles his favorite uncle - has many questions about the
meaning of this holiday and whether he will really see his departed
uncle's spirit when they take his favorite items to his grave. His
questions are not answered until the end of the grave site celebration.
This story offers a delightful explanation of this centuries old
Mexican holiday which combines traditional Aztec traditions and
traditional Catholic customs.
||This Land Is My Land
by George Littlechild
of this beautiful book, with its unusually bold, dazzling color
illustrations, will be informed, entertained, delighted, and will sense
the reverence with which the author regards his ancestors and his land.
Especially moving is his chapter called "Red Horse Boarding School", in
which Littlechild, now an internationally renowned artist, tells of the
physical and mental abuse he and other Indian children suffered at the
hands of white educators.
by Ednah New Rider Weber, Richela Renkun (Photographer)
her powerfully moving storytelling voice, Weber narrates her childhood
and coming of age, beginning with the death of her beloved grandmother,
with whom she had always lived. Suddenly, at age 7, she is uprooted
from her familiar, beautiful surroundings and must live miles away on
an Indian reservation with her previously unknown father and his
family. Just as EdNah begins to adjust to her new family and the
natural wonders of Rattlesnake Mesa, she must go to live in an Indian
school. Her descriptions of her life there and her return to
Rattelesnake Mesa for vacation are testaments to her resilience,
maturity, and pride in her rich Native American cultural and natural
heritage. Superb black and white photos enhance this lovely story.
||Amongst My Best Men: African Americans and the War of 1812
by Gerard T. Altoff, Robin O. Lilek (Illustrator)
Perry had initially complained bitterly about being sent a substantial
number of Black seamen, whom he regarded as savages and untrainable.
Following his winning the decisive Battle of Lake Erie, he reported
that these African American seamen had fought bravely with skill,
dignity and distinction and were, indeed, "amongst my best men".
Although the exact numbers may never be known, the author estimates
that between 10 and 20 percent of the seamen in this crucial battle
were African Americans. He provides well-documented information about
the lives, deeds, and survivors of some of these valiant men who fought
to insure rights and freedoms which they were not privileged to enjoy.
||The Journal of Jesse Smoke
by Joseph Bruchac
as a diary, this historical novel is narrated by an intelligent,
literate teenager named Jesse, whose family is snatched from their home
and forced to walk the treacherous, humiliating Trail of Tears to
unfamiliar land west of the Mississippi. Jesse's story includes real
people, places and events related to this brutal treatment of a
civilized, literate, hardworking, well-governed people, who had been
ruthlessly exploited prior to their banishment. Their journey resulted
in thousands of deaths from disease, fatigue, hunger, or severe
weather. The courage and stamina of members of Jesse's family is
typical of the Cherokee families who survived this brutality. Bruchac's
story is carefully documented with notes and photos.
||Walking on Solid Ground (Aesop Accolades (Awards))
by Shu Pui Cheung, Shuyuan Li, Aaron Chau, Deborah Wei (Editor), Debora Kodish (Editor), Ming Chau (Photographer)
thriving, bustling Chinatown is lovingly and honestly described as seen
through the eyes of the community's activist teacher of the Lion Dance
and kung fu, a recently arrived 4th generation opera singer, and a
13-year-old student of these 2 artists. An overview of this resilient
community's history - including its struggles against racism as well as
political and social marginalism - reveals that at the heart of its
sustenance and triumphs is the continuing performance of and reverence
for the wondrous music, art, and dance of their ancient Chinese
forbears. The lens of Ming's camera plays a major role in this honest
and fascinating photo essay.
||Knockin' on Wood
by Lynne Barasch
childhood, Clayton Bates had always loved dancing, and danced all the
time. Sometimes to his mother's dismay, he danced for white patrons of
a barbershop in town, and they tossed coins to him. Hating work on the
farm where his mother was an underpaid sharecropper, he begged to be
allowed to work in a cottonseed mill. On his 3rd day there, he lost his
right leg during a machinery accident. Because he was Black, no
hospital would accept him, so the amputation had to be completed in his
home. Soon Clayton was walking, then dancing on his homemade crutches.
His uncle whittled him an artificial wooden leg, which allowed him to
perform astounding original routines. This charming book tells more of
"Peg Leg's" remarkable story.
||Lies My Teacher Told Me
by James W. Loewen
"Everything Your American Textbook Got Wrong", this book not only
critiques leading American history textbooks, but corrects the gross
information about a wide variety of significant events, movements,
eras, and policies in our nation's history. These exciting retellings
demand that history be taught and learned in a more honest, exciting
way with a more socially just citizenry as the main expected outcome.
||The Culturally Proficient School
by Randall B. Lindsey, Laraine Roberts, Franklin CampbellJones
clear definition and thorough examination of cultural proficiency is
presented as the authors' background for their postulation of its
powerful effect on the creation and sustenance of an equitable,
productive, empowering, component of educational institutions. They
also examine those entities and behaviors - often self-imposed - which
discourage or prevent the development of cultural proficiency in
schools. Stories are told about their work and extensive observations
in model schools that meet their criteria for culturally proficiency.
||Womankind: Faces of Change Around the World
by Donna Nebenzahl , Nance Ackerman (Photographer)
nearly 10 years, this feature writer and award winning photographer
have traveled worldwide to document the incredible work of celebrated
and little known women who have have contributed immeasurably to the
healing of an ailing planet. Their diverse work toward improved health
care, ecology, social and political rights, education, safety,
political freedom and other hard-won human rights are powerfully
narrated - often in the words of these activists. Marvelous duotone
photographs highlight the formidable challenges and remarkable
achievements of 54 exemplary women of color. One flaw is the absence of
stories about Middle Eastern women, who have risked their lives in
order to bring about change in their communities and institutions.
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